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Information about reign: Harald Gille (King Harald IV Magnusson)

CountryNorway
FromApril 1130
To14 December 1136
Personal InformationKing Harald IV Magnusson of Norway (1103 - 1136)
Description

Harald Gille (Old Norse: Haraldr gilli or Haraldr gillikristr) was king of Norway as Harald IV from 1130 until his death. His byname Gille is probably from Middle Irish Gilla Críst "servant of Christ".

Harald was in Tønsberg when he heard of King Sigurd's death. He called together a meeting at the Haugating (from the Old Norse word haugr meaning hill or burial mound). At this Thing, Harald was chosen king over half the country. King Magnus was obliged to divide the kingdom with Harald into two parts.

The kingdom accordingly was so divided that each of them should have the half part of the kingdom which King Sigurd had possessed. They ruled the country for some time in peace. After four years of uneasy peace, Magnus began to openly prepare for war on Harald. On August 9, 1134, he defeated Harald in a decisive Battle at Färlev in Bohuslän and Harald fled to Denmark. Subsequently Magnus disbanded his army and traveled to Bergen to spend the winter there. Harald then returned to Norway with a new army and meeting little opposition, reached Bergen before Christmas. Since Magnus had few men, the city fell easily to Harald's army on January 7, 1135. Magnus was captured and dethroned. His eyes were put out, and he was thrown into prison. Harald now ruled the country until 1136, when he was murdered by Sigurd Slembe, another alleged illegitimate son of Magnus Barefoot.